Since taking the culinary lead at Sepia in 2009, Chef Andrew Zimmerman has garnered national acclaim for his inventive American cuisine.
creative direction in the kitchen has earned the Chicago restaurant a Michelin star since 2011.
was invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York City in 2010.
Heâ€™s received a James Beard Foundation Award nomination for â€œBest Chef: Great Lakesâ€� in 2012 and 2013, and StarChefs.com picked him as a 2011 Rising Star Chef.
For the 2011-2013 Jean Banchet Awards, he
was nominated as â€œChef of the Year,â€� and Sepia
won as â€œRestaurant of the Yearâ€� in 2012. â€œIâ€™m cooking food that speaks to me, and Iâ€™m so honored that itâ€™s resonating with others, too,â€� he
says. â€œMy cooking style is all about balance of textures, global flavors, and seasonality.â€�
20s, while following a life-long dream to become a musician, Zimmerman
supported himself by working in restaurants in New York City.
enjoyed being in the kitchen more than the clubs, Zimmerman
began to pursue a career as a professional cook.
worked as sous chef for three years under Renato Sommella, whom he
cites as one of his
strongest culinary mentors.
then enrolled in the prestigious French Culinary Institute in New York City, graduating first in his
class in 2000.
Zimmerman made the move to Chicago in 2003 to assume a chef position at the Park Hyatt Chicago.
In 2004, he
met restaurateur Terry Alexander, who was impressed with his
capabilities and hired him as executive chef at MOD
and opening chef for del Toro.
Zimmerman returned to the Park Hyatt as chef de cuisine at its restaurant, NoMI, working with Chef Christophe David.
continues to participate in a number of high-profile culinary events, including the national Cochon 555 tour in 2011; Cochon Heritage Fire in Napa, CA, in 2011 and 2012; Food & Wineâ€™s Entertaining Showcase in 2011 and 2012; and the Charleston Wine + Food Festival
in Charleston, SC, in 2013.
In September 2012, Zimmerman successfully defeated Iron Chef Marc Forgione on Food Networkâ€™s â€œIron Chef Americaâ€� in Battle Cream Cheese.
Zimmerman joins the ranks of other nationally renowned chefs to showcase American cuisine to other nations, enhance formal diplomacy, and cultivate cultural understanding.
, a clothing designer, live in Chicagoâ€™s Bucktown neighborhood with their young daughter and son.
When not working, he
can be found traveling with his
familyâ€"and finding culinary inspiration all along the way.